Before administering medication, it is critical to have five areas of information correct: patient identification, medication, dosage, time, and route. But, it's not only critical to ensure this information is correct, you should check three times:
- The first check is when the medications are pulled or retrieved from the automated dispensing machine, the medication drawer, or whatever system is in place at a given institution.
- The second check is when preparation of the medications for administration takes place.
- The final check occurs at the patient's bedside just before medications are given. This is also an outstanding opportunity to teach the patient about the medications.